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Google Changes Image Search to Accommodate Copyright Concerns

Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 02, 2018

In mid-February, Google announced that it was changing its image search interface to address the concerns of copyright holders. The “view image” button that appears when users clicked onto an image found via Image Search was removed, and the copyright disclaimer, warning users that search results may be copyrighted, was made more prominent. The “View Image” button had taken users directly to the image URL, permitting them to bypass the website on which the image was embedded. 

Google also removed the “Search by Image” button, although they kept their Reverse Image Search functionality. In a follow-up tweet, Google confirmed that the changes were made as part of their settlement with stock image giant Getty Images, and were intended to “strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”

The settlement with Getty Images was the outcome of an anti-competition complaint Getty filed against Google with the European Commission in 2016. The complaint focused on changes Google implemented in their image search interface in 2013, which permitted users to access high resolution images directly via image search, rather than viewing a list of thumbnails linking back to the original website. Getty contended that Google’s Image Search facilitated copyright infringement, turning unwitting users into “accidental pirates.” 

Google View Image button removed

The “View Image” button has been deleted, as shown by a recent image search.

Prior to the settlement announcement, Getty withdrew its complaint with Google. The agreement with Google was announced by Getty as a multi-year licensing partnership, in which Google would use Getty’s content within Google’s products and services, “improv[ing] attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem.” 

Reaction to Google’s announcement on Twitter was largely negative, with many complaining of the added inconvenience or accusing Google of selling out users. A few voices, such as photographer Roy Singh, pointed out that Google’s image search shouldn’t facilitate the theft of their images. Users didn’t have long to fret about being inconvenienced. Within a week of Google’s announcement, a Chrome extension restoring the “view image” button appeared in the Chrome webstore.

There’s Work to Do on Copyright Small Claims

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on January 19, 2018

We've never been this close.  

For years, creators and visual arts organizations like ours have been asking for a copyright small claims court. In 2016, two bills that were introduced into the House sought to establish such a court, and just last October, the CASE Act (H.R. 3945) was introduced. The CASE Act is widely supported; representatives from both sides of the aisle have signed on to co-sponsor the bill, and articles posted in trade journals, news publications, and industry blogs welcome it.

Why is a copyright small claims court getting so much attention?

The system currently in place for protecting copyrights simply doesn't work well for individual creators. If your work has been infringed, your only recourse is to take the infringer into federal court – a process that is expensive, time-consuming, and confusing.  You’ll need to hire a lawyer, and yet many lawyers won’t take on infringment lawsuits where the potential award is under $30,000, far beyond what can be expected in than many small infringement cases. The federal court systems works for large copyright holders — companies or individuals with high value copyright claims. But for many individual artists, the federal court system is simply out of reach.

A copyright small claims court would give individual creators an alternate path – one that is affordable, easy, and streamlined. And while the system outlined in the CASE Act limits the remedies – for example, statutory damages would be capped at $15,00/work or $30,000 total — the small claims court would be entirely voluntary. That means artists who registered their work, and who have a substantial claim, can still take the case in federal court.

There is work to be done.

While we’re thrilled with the amount of attention the bill has gotten, and the number of representatives across party lines who’ve copsponsored the bill, there is still a lot of work to do. The simple truth is that most bills die in committee. In the last session of Congress (2015-2017), only 3% of the bills introduced were enacted into law. The only way to get The CASE Act moving forward is to keep a spotlight on it. 

You can help by asking your representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3945, the CASE Act. It's easy: go to the “take action” pages on the Copyright Alliance website or on Copyright Defense

If your representative is already co-sponsoring the bill, shoot them an email and tell them thank you. Then spread the word to your friends, family, colleagues, teachers, co-workers, etc. Direct them to this article, and to the Copyright Alliance and Copyright Defense pages. 

Below: the Capitol Building, viewed during our January trip to lobby for copyright small claims.© Graphic Artists Guild

The Capitol

Good News! WordPress Will Be A Lot Easier To Use In 2018

Posted by Guest on January 10, 2018

by Bud Kraus


Here are 3 things most designers can agree on about WordPress:

1. It's not easy.

2. It's not WYSIWYG.

3. It's a "save and surprise" system when it comes to creating web pages and blog posts.

That's all going to change in 2018.

The smart people behind the development of WordPress have been working overtime to rollout the new content creator known as Gutenberg. The expected release date is spring 2018.

Gutenberg will completely replace this editor, which has been the bane of many designers:

WordPress editor

In its place you'll use a block-editing system. If you've ever used WIX, Squarespace, Medium, MailChimp, or other publishing systems, you have a notion of what I'm getting at.

Let me give you a tour of Gutenberg. You’ll see and hear a lot about it in 2018.

 

Gutenberg works with “Gutenblocks” (that's what the smarties call it) that form the heart of the system. Blocks can easily be added, edited, moved, or removed when you are making a page or post. Content types such as heading, paragraph, image, video, or audio are inserted into a block. Depending on the content type you are working on, Gutenberg displays different options that allow you to change the appearance of that content.

You will be able to save a Gutenblock if you need to reuse some content on more than one page. That's going to be a huge time saver.

As for images, here’s what the Gutenberg developers are saying:

“Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you'll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.”

How about that!

Not A Plugin

Gutenberg will be added to the core of WordPress.  That means it will be part of WP out of the box. It will be as integral to WordPress as choosing themes, adding plugins, or creating menus.

It will be in the WordPress 5.0 version. The current version is 4.9.1. That means when you install or update WP to version 5.0, you'll be saying goodbye to the WP Editor we’ve used for over 10 years and hello to Gutenberg.  It'll be that simple.

And that’s just the start of the Gutenberg story. Over time Gutenberg will allow for drag and drop functionality, not only of Gutenblocks, but for all elements on a web page.  If you want to adjust a page's header, footer, sidebars, and other design elements, regardless of the theme,,you'll be able to do that with Gutenberg. So sayeth those in the know.

What Happens To Page Builders?

That's just one of the many questions those in the WP community are asking.  What is the future of the countless plugin such as: Divi, Beaver Builder, and Elementor, that make it easier to build pages? No one really seems to have a good answer for that.

What If You Don't Like Gutenberg?

I think you will and I suggest you give it a try.  Most designers have been clamoring for a WordPress WYSIWYG design environment for years. While the first versions of Gutenberg won't quite get us there, over time we are likely to reach the Holy Grail of inline web design aka in-browser design.

Gutenberg is WordPress's big step in that direction. It had to happen. 

In Beta Now

I suggest that you if create WP sites for clients, you get a jump on what Gutenberg is. Currently you can download Gutenberg as a pluginbut you have to promise me the following:

1. You do not use this on any live site!

2. You understand that Gutenberg is in a beta state.  That means things will not work as you expect nor should you consider Gutenberg as ready for prime time.


Bud Kraus has been teaching the fundamentals of web design for thousands of students at Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and for his private students for 20 years. 

Besides teaching Bud works with individuals and small businesses developing their WordPress sites.

His free WordPress A To Z Series is for beginners or if a re-fresher course is needed. Get access to all his videos at https://joyofwp.com/courses/free-tutorials-course-to-learn-wordpress/.

Questions? email Bud at: bud@joyofwp.com

Space Exploration Posters, Courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Lab

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 28, 2017

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab gave us all a lovely holiday gift: a series of space exploration posters, free for downloading and printing. The series, titled Visions of the Future, channels retro poster design from the WPA-era to tout vacation destinations such as Ceres, Jupiter, and Kepler-186f (the first earth-sized planet speculated to be capable of sustaining life). The files can be downloaded as high resolution TIFFs or PDFs, at 20x30”.

The posters are the creation of “The Studio,” a team of designers, illustrators, and visual strategists at the JPL. The Studio creates visuals, such as the space exploration poster series, which communicate the excitement and vision of the JPL. However, their mission goes beyond that of a typical art department. In a video created by The Otis Report on the Creative Economy, Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at The Studio, and Charles Elachi, PhD, Director of the JPL, speak about the importance of the exchange of ideas and inspiration between The Studio and JPL engineers and scientists.

That collaboration is evident in the Visions of the Future poster series. While depicting fanciful interpretations of each planet and moon, The Studio staff solicited feedback from JPL scientists. That red foliage on Kepler-186f? That was inspired by the information that the light spectrum radiated by Kepler’s star is a different spectrum than earth’s sun.  On a background page on the poster series, creative strategist David Delgado, illustrator Joby Harris, and typographer Lois Kim describe the thought process behind each poster. Our only quibble with the series? We would have loved to have seen a rendition of Saturn – what would The Studio have done with those rings!?

Poster thumbnails, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech​

Jet Propulsion Lab Visions of the Future poster thumbnails  

Credits for the posters

Creative Strategy: 
Dan Goods, David Delgado

Illustrators: 
Liz Barrios De La Torre (Ceres, Europa)
Stefan Bucher (Jupiter Design)
Invisible Creature (Grand Tour, Mars, Enceladus)
Joby Harris (Kepler 16b, Earth, Kepler 186f, PSO J318.5-22, Titan)
Jessie Kawata (Venus)
Lois Kim (Typography for Venus and Europa)
Ron Miller (Jupiter Illustration)

Health Insurance Options, Now That the Federal Enrollment Period is Over

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 19, 2017

If you had wanted to sign up for health insurance but missed the enrollment period for the federal exchange, you may still have options to get coverage at HealthCare.gov. If you’ve experienced a qualifying life event or any number of specific conditions, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. But your first step should be to double check that your state doesn’t have a state health exchange with an enrollment period extended beyond the federal exchange.

Residents of many states no longer have access to an open enrollment; either their state never set up a health insurance exchange, requiring their residents to purchase insurance on the federal exchange, or their enrollment period has ended. Note that while the states listed below have extended enrollment periods, coverage may not begin until after February 1st. Check your state’s website for details on the coverage period, and to enroll:

•  California: January 31 https://www.coveredca.com
•  Colorado: January 12 http://connectforhealthco.com
•  District of Columbia: January 31 https://dchealthlink.com
•  Massachusetts: January 23 https://www.mahealthconnector.org
•  Minnesota: January 15 https://www.mnsure.org
•  New York: January 31 https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov
•  Rhode Island: December 31 https://healthsourceri.com
•  Washington: January 15 https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org
 
Residents of the remaining 42 states may be eligible to sign up for coverage under a Special Enrollment Period if they’ve experienced any of a number of life changes:

•  Gotten married
•  Had a baby, adopted, or placed a child in foster care
•  Lost insurance through divorce or legal separation
•  Lost insurance through death of a family member
•  Moved to a new zip code, county, or state, or moved to the US
•  Moved to attend school or to follow seasonal work, or from a shelter
•  Lost a job which provided health insurance
•  Lost health coverage from a plan purchased independently
•  Became ineligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
•  Turned 26 and became ineligible to be covered on a parent’s health plan

There are additional “complex issues” which can be taken into consideration when evaluating whether you are eligible for coverage under a Special Enrollment Period. These include: unexpected hospitalizations or temporary disability, technical errors at the HealthCare.gov website that prevented enrollment from going through properly, receiving incorrect information on HealthCare.gov when you selected your plan, and experiencing spousal abuse or abandonment. If you apply for consideration in a Special Enrollment Period and are denied, you can appeal the decision.

The Guild conducted a free webinar on the ACA and its options in mid-November. However, it’s been a rocky Fall for those wanting to sign up for health insurance. The repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, let alone provisions in the proposed tax legislation, have made predicting insurance options and rates for 2018 extremely difficult. Our own free webinar on signing up for the ACA had to be revised the day before the webinar, and even then was outstripped by political developments in the previous 24 hours.

Below: Although the enrollment period at HealthCare.gov is over, you may still qualify for coverage.

Healthcare.gov screenshot

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